N.F.L. Week 9 Picks Against the Spread


Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m., Fox

Line: Dolphins -7 | Total: 45.5

The trade deadline passed, and Tua Tagovailoa is still the starting quarterback of the Miami Dolphins (1-7). At least until March.


That’s the earliest an official swap with the Texans (1-7) for Deshaun Watson could be processed, if by then Watson has resolved the 22 accusations of sexual misconduct against him. The actual football contest between these two teams will be overshadowed by that saga, with a win not proving much for either.

Miami played the Bills competitively last week, and the Texans traded their best running back, Mark Ingram, angering their top receiver, Brandin Cooks. The discord should be too much for Houston to surmount, even with Tyrod Taylor’s return to the field for the first time since Week 2. Expect the Dolphins to end a seven-game losing streak. Pick: Dolphins -7

Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys, 1 p.m., Fox

Line: Cowboys -8.5 | Total: 49.5

The Cowboys (6-1) showed last week they could win without Dak Prescott, and he might take a day off against the Broncos (4-4), too. Denver traded linebacker Von Miller to the Rams this week in a white-flag move for the teetering franchise. Though Dallas cornerback Trevon Diggs and left tackle Tyron Smith are both questionable with ankle injuries, the Cowboys should cover the spread easily. Pick: Cowboys -8.5


Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m., Fox

Line: Saints -6 | Total: 43

Jameis Winston tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, and he will miss the remainder of the season for the Saints (5-2). If Taysom Hill is still in the concussion protocol, the journeyman Trevor Siemian will start at quarterback against the Falcons (3-4). While Coach Sean Payton and the offense adapt to yet another quarterback change, the Saints will lean on their defense, which has allowed the league’s second-lowest points total (128).

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